You have finally gotten your business school applications out of the way, and after weeks of waiting, you receive some great news – you have been invited to interview with your dream school! Now, you may feel mentally prepared and ready to ace this interview, but there is one not-so-minor question you have:

What should you wear?

This seemingly harmless question often creates as much anxiety as any other part of the MBA admissions process, not only from the applicant overthinking things, but also due to an overall lack of comfort with this type of interview. Many candidates have also not been interviewed in quite a while, which can make the whole process truly daunting.

Admissions vs. a job interview

When it comes to dressing for success, treat the business school interview as you would any other traditional job interview. For men, this involves a traditional suit – keep it simple, guys, and wear a classic-colored suite with a simple, collared, dress shirt in white or blue. You can get a bit more creative with your tie, but your dress choice should not really be something that makes a strong impression with your interviewer.

The same rules apply for women – treat your business school interview like you are interviewing for a job. Your interview day is not the time to take dress risks, so keep it simple and let your interview answers speak for themselves.

Virtual vs. in-person interviews

Business schools have been increasingly evolving their interview practices. Programs such as Northwestern University’s Kellogg and the Yale School of Management have folded virtual interviews and essays into their application processes. If you are applying to an MBA program that follows one of these practices, your dress for these virtual sessions may be a little different than that of an in-person interview.

For the remote virtual interviews, the same professional dress rules apply (at least for the upper half of your body that is visible to the camera). With the increasingly popular video essays, however, you can usually wear more business casual attire. Follow the specific directions that will be provided to you and keep it clean with your clothing choice. For men, polo shirts or collared shirts with no jacket are acceptable, while women should aim to wear an appropriate dress, shirt or blouse. Remember, your wardrobe should not be a distraction – keep the focus on what you are communicating rather than what you are wearing.

A common rule of thumb is that over-dressing is better than under-dressing, but if you follow the above guidelines, you will be dressed for success and ready to take full advantage of your interview opportunity.

Veritas Prep is an elite test preparation company specializing in GMAT and GRE prep, as well as MBA admissions consulting. At Veritas Prep, we offer an extensive array of in-person, live online, self-study, and private tutoring options for students from instructors who have all scored in the top 1% of test takers. For over a decade, we have worked with students helping them to excel on standardized exams, allowing them greater opportunities to be accepted into their top-tier dream schools, pursue higher education opportunities, and expand their academic knowledge.